Top female detective and gender equality campaigner to become head of Camden police

PUBLISHED: 10:46 18 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:47 18 August 2015

Penny Banham has a history of fighting gang crime in London

Penny Banham has a history of fighting gang crime in London


Camden’s top police officer has announced he will be leaving his role after three years and will be replaced by a senior female detective with a history of tackling gang crime.

Chief supt Richard Tucker, who arrived as borough commander of Camden in 2012, will be taking up a new job for Waltham Forest police at the end of September.

He featured prominently in recent BBC documentary series The Met: Policing London and has become a well-known face in the community after attending multiple public meetings to address recent concerns about a perceived rise in crime in the borough.

In a statement, the Camden Safer Neighbourhood Board wrote: “We are very sorry to hear that Richard Tucker will be moving from his post. Richard is much liked and will be missed.”

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who chairs the Frognal and Fitzjohns Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, added: “I for one am very sorry to see him go as he has been an excellent borough commander for Camden but wish him all the best in his future career.”

Chief supt Tucker’s replacement will be chief supt Penelope Banham, who last year left a role with Wandsworth police to work at the police’s aviation security unit at Heathrow.

Her time at Wandsworth saw the jailing of a violent moped gang responsible for a spate of thefts that targetted women pedestrians – a type of crime that has plagued neighbourhoods in Camden.

An active gender equality campaigner, she was this year given a “special recognition” award by the British Association for Women in Police, recognising her “passionate support for the retention and progression of female officers and other under-represented groups” in the police force.

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